By Bjorn Haake in Santillana del Mar
The Vuelta a España king of the mountains, David Moncoutié (Cofidis), spent an easy rest day and is now ready to fight in the tough Asturian climbs to hold on to the red jersey.
The rest day was mostly spent relaxing and getting the massages to help with recuperation. There was a little training, too, but not too much. "We went out for an hour. There were intermittent rain storms, but we managed to stay fairly dry." Moncoutié may have enjoyed the landscape more, had it not been such foul weather. "It is really pretty here, but a tad too wet. Well, that's why it is green here, unlike the interior from the start in Granada..."
The undulating landscape – Moncoutié called it 'Wallonian' – helped in testing out some gearing for tomorrow. "We already put on a 34x29, to see how it goes for tomorrow."
Moncoutié is also unfamiliar with the final climb of tomorrow. "I don't know it at all. I will discover it tomorrow..."
His overall positioning won't allow him much tactical manoeuvring for the mountain points. A break to gobble up some points seems out of the question. "I am less than five minutes behind. I guess I will wait for the Angliru."
The climbs in Asturias will be decisive for the mountains jersey. Moncoutié will evaluate his GC position after the weekend. "Monday, or even Sunday if I lost enough time on the Angliru, I can try to get into a break to get more points."